The ExternE Project commenced in 1991 with the overall objectives to develop a methodology for the evaluation of the externalities of energy, to apply the methodology to fuel cycles throughout the EU, and to investigate the application of external costs in decision making.
The specific objectives of the current phase of the project are: - To strengthen the existing accounting framework by the incorporation of new scientific data and information, aggregation of the costs, a more comprehensive treatment of uncertainty and a more sophisticated treatment of global warming impacts and major accidents;
- To extend the accounting framework to include cogeneration, selected new and future technologies and further end-use technologies;
- To use case studies to investigate the practical application of the accounting framework in policy making;
- Compilation of the data in a readily accessed database;
- Dissemination of the accounting framework.
The ExternE Project has developed a 'bottom-up' impact pathway methodology for the evaluation of external costs. This, e.g., quantifies air, water and land pollutants from each stage in a fuel cycle, their dispersion and chemical interactions in the environment and their subsequent impacts on the natural and built environment and human health. The final stage in the analysis is monetary valuation of resultant damages or benefits. The analysis also covers other types of impact, such as accidents affecting workers, and non-environmental externalities. 3 main principles underlie the approach adopted namely, transparency, consistency and
comprehensiveness. The project is being undertaken by a strong, multidisciplinary, multinational project team combining extensive experience of working in this field with the required in-depth knowledge of specialists in environmental economics, ecology and health.
To date the project has focused on a range of fossil, nuclear and renewable fuel cycles for power generation; more recently the work has extended to several energy conservation and end-use technologies. A series of reports is available presenting the methodology and results for the coal, lignite, gas, oil, nuclear, hydro and wind fuel cycles. Further reports will be published during the project.
Expected Achievements and Exploitation
The ExternE-Core Project will further refine the ExternE methodology, with improvements in several key areas identified during previous phases of the work. It will also demonstrate the application of the methodology to a broad range of energy fuel cycles. The Case Studies will investigate the use of externalities in a number of different types of decision making. A wide dissemination of the ExternE methodology and results is viewed as essential for its future exploitation. The ExternE-Core Project includes considerable effort for dissemination activities both within Member States and the EC's Energy-Environment-Economy Forum. A quarterly Newsletter is widely distributed. Finally, a focal point for external cost information is being compiled within the project at the IPTS in Seville.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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